01 May 2010

Twitter is fun, possibly useful

Twitter seemed foolish to me before I started using it. However, the ability to enter and exit a stream of short messages whenever you want, has some advantages.

You can search the stream of messages for individual words, or for hashtags such as #conlang that indicate the subject-category of a message. Even if you don't have a Twitter account, you can go to twitter.com and search for all appearances of the word lojban, for example.

If you want a daily dose of short texts in other languages to help you learn those languages, Twitter can be useful. You can find original haiku posted daily in Japanese or Esperanto. There are a few people exchanging messages in Lojban and probably in other conlangs.

Twitter is ideally suited to reading on a cellphone or other pocket device. You can set your Twitter account to relay messages from your favorite Twitter authors directly to your phone.

You can use unicode on Twitter so you can write in virtually any natural language. Considering the 140-character size limit on Twitter messages, some languages are able to pack a lot more information into each "tweet" than others; this is one area where alphabetic writing systems seem to be at a disadvantage.

My Twitter ID is @rick_harrison

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